Jailbreak casts doubts on surprise checkshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/jailbreak-casts-doubts-on-surprise-checks/

Jailbreak casts doubts on surprise checks

The sensational jailbreak in Sonepat district has put a question mark on monthly surprise checks conducted by senior Haryana police officers in all the district jails.

The sensational jailbreak in Sonepat district has put a question mark on monthly surprise checks conducted by senior Haryana police officers in all the district jails.

According to the jail manual and the precedents followed in Haryana’s district jails,those required to be making one surprise visit to the prison every month are the District and Sessions Judge of the district,where the jail is located; top officers of Haryana Prisons Department,including the Director General of Police (Prisons),Inspector General (Prisons),Deputy Inspector General (Prisons),Inspector General of the Range,covering the district where the jail is located; and district Superintendent of Police.

DG (Prisons) Rakesh Malik admitted that the provision of ‘surprise checks’ was mandatory. “Yes,monthly inspections of all the district jails are to be conducted without any break. We do ensure that all the district jails are periodically checked by the jail staff as well. We visit the jails regularly every month and conduct surprise checks in the barracks as well. As far as Sonepat jailbreak is concerned,it is an unfortunate incident and the district police is working hard to nab the absconding accused,” he said.

Evading queries on problems like shortage of manpower for manning the Haryana jails,absence of any adequate close-circuit television (CCTV) network,inadequate lighting facilities during the night hours,Malik instead blamed dense fog for the jailbreak. “It is not only a lapse on the part of the jail staff. We are inquiring into the factors which led to this serious breach. It is basically the dense fog these days,using which the accused managed to escape by scaling the boundary wall,” he added.

The Haryana Prisons Department on Thursday marked an inquiry into the jailbreak and deputed Deputy Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Jagjeet Singh to fix the responsibility on the jail staff whose negligence or connivance,if any,led to the jailbreak.